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Discussion: the PoE beta xp system

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Honestly, I don't think filling out the beastiary is even a good way to give out xp. I think it would be better if Obsidian just added discovery-xp and xp for killing special enemies. The spider-queen would be an example of a special enemy.

That would be best, yes. I am not thrilled with the bestiary either, and I proposed the decreasing xp just as an attempt to avoid the 'I got to kill everything least I don't get any more chances to complete the bestiary entry' compulsion.

 

Actually, to me the bestiary concept would make more sense as a reward for stealthing: either you get kill xp, or you get bestiary xp by stealthing/searching close to the lions (I mean the circle that makes them go and investigate) for a number of seconds. Although this wouldn't be perfect by a long shot either.

Edited by frapillo80

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I love how the minute Josh suggests an idea.. All the people who were against Kill Xp have instantly flip flopped to "well that would be okay".. Even though we were talking about this solution like a month ago and people said it would suck.

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From George Ziets @ http://new.spring.me/#!/user/GZiets/timeline/responses

Didn’t like the fact that I don’t get XP for combat. While this does put more emphasis on solving quests, the lack of rewards for killing creatures makes me want to avoid combat (the core activity of the game) as much as I can.

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Sorry, I don't understand. What I was trying to say is that by granting "some" kill XP in the form of beastiary XP, then PoE will still be incentivizing killing if for nothing more than maxing out the beastiary XP, which seems to go against one of your design goals. Whether we kill 50% or 100% to get the XP, you have reintroduced "killing just for XP".

 

My goal isn't to discourage killing/combat overall, but to avoid the emphasis of combat solutions as the de facto best way to resolve quests (unless the quest is fundamentally about killing someone/thing, of course) and to avoid the player feeling compelled to kill everything they come across.  I think it will be good for the game if a player can ask themselves, "Am I losing out by not completing this area with combat?" and sometimes answer, "Nah."  Quest only XP accomplishes this, but obviously a lot of people want to gain XP from fighting.  Short of having a separate mode where you get combat XP from everything and all of the quest XP is rebalanced around that, bestiary unlocking XP is the best solution I've come up with to accomplish both goals.

 

 

 

But this happens anyways.. unless quest flagged npc's don't drop items.. Killng npc's will always provide the best reward vrs time..

 

Why not just flag all npc's related to a quest as quest-related and make them not give any xp.. The biggest reason people want xp for fighting thing's is completely unrelated to quest content but all the crap in between.. The beetle forest.. the Lion Entrance.. the cultist filled rooms... The random forest you explore off the beaten path, filled with wolves and wyverns and whatever else..

 

The xp rewards are too chunked out and not rewarding you for doing work or succeeding, just for stepping on triggers. You have changed the meta of this game from "Create a party good at combat in a combat centered game" to "create a party of wizards and rogues who can stealth and invis past annoying crap I don't wanna fight"..

If your arguing that's another legitmate way of playing the game.. skipping content because it forces you to consume resources when the same reward can be gotten for having a spellbook filled with invis spells.. thats just as degenerative as killing things that actually fight back on a quest.

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From George Ziets @ http://new.spring.me/#!/user/GZiets/timeline/responses

Didn’t like the fact that I don’t get XP for combat. While this does put more emphasis on solving quests, the lack of rewards for killing creatures makes me want to avoid combat (the core activity of the game) as much as I can.

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Exactly. Right now, it boils down to this: fighting any hostiles that are not tied to a quest or carry especially valuable loot is a self-damaging chore.

You see the pride of lions, you can:

1) stealth past them: gain nothing, lose nothing

2) fight: gain nothing, lose health, consumables, camping supplies, money and time for the inn.

And in PoE health costs, you cannot heal or rest for free, so you waste time both fighting for nothing and going to the inn (or money for camping supplies).

Right now stealth for everybody seems a no-brainer (and you'll end up just as good in combat for when you really have to fight, thanks to quest xp). So why put non quest related hostiles at all, if the decision on how to deal with them is a no brainer?

All this simply seems to have flipped the old "I have to fight, else I'll lose xp" into the new "I have to stealth, else I'll lose resources". A lot in RPGs is balancing risks against rewards: right now, in the specific cases I've mentioned, we have the no-risk, no reward choice pitted against the significant risk, no reward one. Again, a no-brainer. All of which would be fine if most of PoE mechanics were geared towards stealth, but...

The problem with the old system was not that it rewarded the combat solution, but that it did not reward the stealthy/alternative ones.

As far as I see it, better try and find a way to reward stealthing, rather than punish fighting.

Edited by frapillo80
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The option for people to play with Combat XP or Not as Saywer said would the best one. Why not let the players play as they like? Why does OE think they know better than players how those players have most fun?

Not to mention making these two options would give replayability to the game (I would for sure try to play both ways).

 

I like to roleplay in cRPG games. I will not do a quest and then kill a quest giver unless he was a bad guy I wanted to kill anyways and his quest was a way for me to exploit him as a character inside the game (not the game itself). I also liked to roam maps in BG1 and BG2 and kill everyone who wanted to fight me. I liked to get XP for it and items. For me the OE xp system will be less fun as it will not allow me to play as I want because of other players that play in a way that is considered bad by OE. Those others will be pissed off because OE killed their way or playing, but I am also slighted because part of my play is also affected. All for a group that probably like me also didn't kill quest givers after doing the quest. This group probably didn't have fun running around maps killing stuff as well. 

So why are 2/3 of these groups being punished in a single player game?

 

My experience cannot be ruined by other players that play differently in a SP game, only by the game's designers.

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If they want to give combat XP, maybe they can put it in the non-expert mode or kiddie babbie mode (since that's what it is, for crying whining babbies) because I want to voice opposition to combat xp. I want to be loud and clear. I HATE COMBAT XP. HATE HATE HATE. Obsidian, stick to your guns for God's sake. Don't let the riff-raff push your design choices around.

 

HATE COMBAT XP.

 

See I can be loud and obnoxious too.

Edited by Hormalakh
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In that case they should put your mode into kid mode and combat xp into Expert mode. Expert mode is about combat as are higher difficulties so combat xp being put with it fits more than kiddy "I only want to do quests and listen to story" mode.

Edited by archangel979

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I am still not convinced by the idea that combat reward needs to be something in the form of XP or loot. It should really be "story". Deus Ex did this really well.

 

Also, I  *hate* trash mobs. rewarding me with loot/XP to fight them is lame. Just get rid of them! Why do I need to fight damn beetles or wolves or cultist? The battles should feel unique and tactical instead of being generic skyrim "Here's a wolf cave and for inexplicable reason they have been hoarding magic rings" feeling. 

 

This was one thing wrong with IE games earlier, especially IWDs and needs to go. 

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"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

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Captain Shrek: Your criticism of trash mobs makes all sense in the world. I love Deus Ex, and I really love CRPGs in the form of PST. However, perhaps I suffer from some split-gamer-personality disorder, but I love just as much the classic CRPG-melody/rhythm of trash mobs, ordinary mobs, really tough fights, a few bosses - the pacing is nice and varied. I also like challenging strategic combat (both 4X and RTS). Question is: Should PoE be a PST successor or a BG1/2-successor. I very much want to see the latter as far as combat goes. The good news is: The design goals for T:ToN are almost exactly what are you looking for: story-heavy, no trash mobs, unique strategic encounters. Need I say that I am really looking forward to that game?

 

Unlike you, though, I reckon BG1 and BG2 (and the combat in part in IWD2), did it right, not wrong. Seeing how the combat mechanics are designed for PoE, there's no doubt in my mind that it fits in that category, rather than some PST/Deus Ex-category.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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I am still not convinced by the idea that combat reward needs to be something in the form of XP or loot. It should really be "story". Deus Ex did this really well.

 

Also, I  *hate* trash mobs. rewarding me with loot/XP to fight them is lame. Just get rid of them! Why do I need to fight damn beetles or wolves or cultist? The battles should feel unique and tactical instead of being generic skyrim "Here's a wolf cave and for inexplicable reason they have been hoarding magic rings" feeling. 

 

This was one thing wrong with IE games earlier, especially IWDs and needs to go.

 

I don't like trash mobs either, and I am not advocating combat xp at all costs (although in the end it would probably be the least harmful solution). But I do think that the problem concerning the fact that the non-quest combat is pointless and demotivating (and stealth is the only option that makes sense right now) needs to be solved, one way or another.

Deus Ex was awesome, but what kind of compelling story can you reasonably tie to a pride of lions in the wilderness or to a bunch of beetles?

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I am still not convinced by the idea that combat reward needs to be something in the form of XP or loot. It should really be "story". Deus Ex did this really well.

 

Also, I  *hate* trash mobs. rewarding me with loot/XP to fight them is lame. Just get rid of them! Why do I need to fight damn beetles or wolves or cultist? The battles should feel unique and tactical instead of being generic skyrim "Here's a wolf cave and for inexplicable reason they have been hoarding magic rings" feeling. 

 

This was one thing wrong with IE games earlier, especially IWDs and needs to go.

I don't like trash mobs either, and I am not advocating combat xp at all costs (although in the end it would probably be the least harmful solution). But I do think that the problem concerning the fact that the non-quest combat is pointless and demotivating (and stealth is the only option that makes sense right now) needs to be solved, one way or another.

Deus Ex was awesome, but what kind of compelling story can you reasonably tie to a pride of lions in the wilderness or to a bunch of beetles?

 

 

Frapillo80 and Indira lightfoot. 

 

The point is you * can * design stories around these encounters. That would however be true only if the beetles and lions are really rare. 

 

Take for example the beetles.

 

How often does one see giant beetles/crystal spiders? The party gets a quest that some traveler saw them and is being labelled mad. On the flip side he also swears that the beetle shell was made of pure gold. Now you have a dilemma: should you enter a deep dark cave just on the promise of fabled gold? Also, what makes beetles grow to that size and plated with gold in the first place? So when the party *does* decide to take on that challenge, it needs to prepare for the encounter. This is where the lore skill kicks in. Lets say that one of the participants has Lore: Animals. He uses that to tell the guy with Lore: Plants which poisons are fatal to beetles. You coat your weapons with that and the battle is significantly easy. Else, the beetles hand your butt back to you in pieces. When you investigate the cave, it turns out that the beetles have been feeding over a herb that is being fed by the local source of water contaminated by soul energy. Following the trail of this stream, you reach a hidden place where you discover some fantastic aspect of the world lore. Thus the beetles were a unique encounter and you can't get more Deusexy in spirit than that. 

 

This makes several different kinds of sense over the current "wolf cave" scenario: The combat is hard if you do not have the right skills. The combat is lucrative for a thematic reason. The combat is rewarding for lore/story reasons. 

 

A combat heavy game needs to have these things to NOT try and become a party based diablo which POE is threatening to become. 

Edited by Captain Shrek
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"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

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Captain Shrek:

 

But I agree that having all those which are currently trash mobs be tied to story/quest would be fantastic. And that would solve the combat xp, since every single combat would be part of a quest and therefore net you xp. But, honestly, do you realistically see it happening? Especially with the Spectre of Quest Staggering constantly rearing its ugly head...

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Captain Shrek:

 

But I agree that having all those which are currently trash mobs be tied to story/quest would be fantastic. And that would solve the combat xp, since every single combat would be part of a quest and therefore net you xp. But, honestly, do you realistically see it happening? Especially with the Spectre of Quest Staggering constantly rearing its ugly head...

If this is not going to happen then the game will be worse than BGs. It will be like IWDs but less clear and more pausy. In IWD2 I absolutely hated fighting off horrible hordes of pointless monsters to get from any one point of map to other. I hope it will be better than that for PoE. 


"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

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I love how the minute Josh suggests an idea.. All the people who were against Kill Xp have instantly flip flopped to "well that would be okay".. Even though we were talking about this solution like a month ago and people said it would suck.

I wasn't there for that conversation, and Josh didn't reference it in his post, so, sorry if I missed it. Bestiary kill XP is better than nothing, and I was thrilled that:

a) they offered an idea that goes partway toward my wishes while respecting the other side

and

b) they are actually reading this thread.

 

I'm not going to flame OE for not going far enough toward what I want. If more people were willing to compromise on things they feel passionately about, we might have a functional government.

Edited by PrimeHydra
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Captain Shrek: You rock at designing encounters! :w00t:

I'd love to see stuff like that implemented in a CRPG, and I'd love to have you as a GM in a PNP campaign, but like frapillo80 says: it's not very realistic given where the PoE BB is right now. Also, we know how it's designed, that it is feature complete - we have seen the entire quest list on the legendary IWD/BG whiteboard. It won't happen. Expect a BG-ish game.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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I have to say that the Bestiary XP idea is...goofy.  It seems like a really silly tacked-on mechanic to give out little gold stars to players.

 

That said and out of the way, implementing exploration xp (and even the silly bestiary xp giveaway) could be done in a very simple mechanic similar to KGambit's cartographer's quest.  At the beginning of the game, the PC could encounter a Volo type character that is looking for adventurers to compile a guide to the Eastern Reach for his readers back in Aedyr complete with maps, locations, adventures, etc..

 

 Once the quest is accepted (unless you kill him for his gold), every scripted sequence yields an XP reward.  Obsidian could also add XP for fully exploring maps, towns, villages, quests and even the bestiary.  Towards the end of the game, or in an epilogue, the player could meet back up with the quest giver and get a compiled version in the form of a book to go into his/ her journal or inventory.  

 

Actually, it would be nice if there was some mechanism for exporting this as a PDF or as an document online to a STEAM account...not sure how hard that would be to implement

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Yeah, we're talking about various other forms of XP including exploration, trap, and lock XP.  We've also discussed XP connected to unlocking elements in the bestiary, which is sort of a limited-pool form of combat XP that eventually gets exhausted and doesn't require you to commit genocide to reach it.  Also, kith (humanoid people) are not (and would not be) in the bestiary, and those are the characters most often associated with quests.

+1 on exploration and bestiary XP.

-1 on trap and lock XP. It would just encourage mindlessly unlocking and untrapping things whether it makes sense or not.

 

Finer-grained objective XP would help a lot too.

 

Context: I would prefer to have XP doled out frequently and in small doses rather than rarely in large doses, but I like the incentive structure of quest/objective XP. The bestiary XP would, I think, go a long way to creating the "feel" of IE game combat XP without screwing up the incentives.

 

The XP system is not among my top five priorities for the game though ATM, and I could certainly live with coarser-grained quest XP as well.

Edited by PrimeJunta
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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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I have to say that the Bestiary XP idea is...goofy.  It seems like a really silly tacked-on mechanic to give out little gold stars to players.

 

Yes and I think the pick lock xp and trap xp is even worse.. It's obvious Josh is adding these systems to pander to a crowd he basically disagrees with completely.

 

Imagine playing BG 2 and no creatures or enemies gave XP.. but opening chests did.. That's not degenerative? What???

 

Bestiary is a step in the right direction.. but it's just so.. hacky.. I dunno.. I wish he gave a **** about our opinions a year ago.. It's like he thought once we all played the beta our eyes would be blinded by the glory of this master plan..

 

Instead of seeing what it really is.. a bunch of random triggers that dump xp on you from the sky.

 

Josh to your credit.. you have really surprised me.. I didn't expect you to give this thread the time of day when you called me an irrational grognard 2 -3 months ago I thought that was that.. So thank you for taking this mechanic seriously and looking at ways to improve PoE for the other half of your audience that doesn't really wanna play the sawyer abdridged version of BG2..


From George Ziets @ http://new.spring.me/#!/user/GZiets/timeline/responses

Didn’t like the fact that I don’t get XP for combat. While this does put more emphasis on solving quests, the lack of rewards for killing creatures makes me want to avoid combat (the core activity of the game) as much as I can.

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I've been fairly reserved on my judgement of the XP system, primarily because this is still the beta and I haven't had the chance to really see how it will play out in the full game. That being said, I am a bit baffled by some of OE's design decisions.
My favorite role is the smooth talking thief/rogue. It's one of the reasons that I have never been a fan of MMORPGs; they are primarily combat focused, with little non-combat or social skills. I understand that OE want to make all character builds viable both in and out of combat, but I feel that the system they have put in place diminishes the concept of a class system, especially in a party based RPG.
Every class in PoE is combat focused. There is no option to build a non-combat character. To me, this implies that the game will be heavily focused on combat, yet the way XP is currently set up doesn't really encourage players to engage in combat. It just seems like a strange choice to me.

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-1 on trap and lock XP. It would just encourage mindlessly unlocking and untrapping things whether it makes sense or not.

When do you feel it wouldn't make sense to pick a lock or disarm a trap?


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When do you feel it wouldn't make sense to pick a lock or disarm a trap?

When I'm already past it, e.g. by having taken an alternative route.

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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Bandage for cancer. 


"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

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All this reminds me of IWD2's issue with "0 xp for you if you are X levels above the mobs you are fighting". Why make me fight them, then? Especially in a rail-roaded game like IWD2, where you met monsters in a fixed sequence. And it let to awful things like the temptation to delay leveling up in order to keep getting some xp for your efforts, which really defeats the concept of character progression as the base of most RPG's. Not to speak of the fact that wading through 0 xp mobs (which were still annoying/dangerous/resource consuming) hoping to get to even stronger mobs which will grant you the privilege of a bit of xp in exchange for even more fighting felt like the worst part of MMORPG's, that is, grinding in order to have the privilege of finally going questing.

 

Maybe all this was in order to promote stealthing past the 0 xp mobs, and I never realized that until now, who knows.

 

Ok, I am digressing, and I know the situation of PoE is not exactly the same, but still...

Edited by frapillo80

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When do you feel it wouldn't make sense to pick a lock or disarm a trap?

When I'm already past it, e.g. by having taken an alternative route.

 

 

 

Does that mean the chests shouldn't have items either? Or should they teleport in your inventory because you decided to skip the dungeon.


From George Ziets @ http://new.spring.me/#!/user/GZiets/timeline/responses

Didn’t like the fact that I don’t get XP for combat. While this does put more emphasis on solving quests, the lack of rewards for killing creatures makes me want to avoid combat (the core activity of the game) as much as I can.

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